My name is Marilyn Collier, but the penname is Mari Collier. I was born in Lincoln Township, Audubon, Iowa. Yes, people still refer to the townships there. I started writing for the Audubon Advocate (Audubon, Iowa) when I was thirteen. The pay wasn't much for the work involved, but I loved it. My writing continued off and on for years.
Children prompted me to invent a bedtime story as my father had done. One was sold to a children's magazine. Then I went to work and writing took a back burner until we moved from Arizona to Western Washington.
I found the greatest employer imaginable in Washington. Nintendo of America paid me to talk, read, write, and play games. It was intense at times, but truly enjoyable.
My husband and I returned to the desert where I became involved with the greatest little museum in the world. How many museums would have a Weed Show? I write two columns for their Old Schoolhouse Journal.
To ease the solitude of writing, I joined the Desert Writers Guild of Twentynine Palms. Each year we publish an anthology of over 100 pages. Our latest one has desert based stories, with recipes to match..
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. Family life, church, and relatives were important. Schooling, reading, and the economic necessity of working together were stressed. Those values are incorporated into my novels.
When did you first start writing?
I first started in grade school during the sixth and seventh year. The two girls in my class wanted another story from me after we had turned in our short stories for an English lesson.